Desertec is the name of a proposed large scale solar power project. Under the proposal, solar thermal energy collectors (not solar cells) would be located in the deserts of North Africa, and would provide Europe with one sixth of its electricity. It could take 30 years to build, and cost more than £200 billion.

Early in the 2000s, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) commissioned and funded the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute for Technical Thermodynamics (see technology, thermodynamics) for three studies to evaluate the following:

Two studies, one on concentrated solar power (CSP) for the Mediterranean Basin, the other on trans-Mediterranean interconnection and infrastructure, have been completed. As of mid-2007, the third study of CSP for the desalination of seawater is in progress.


The problem is not existing venture capital. The problem is the history of cheap oil prices, so interest in investing in oil-saving technologies was low.

The current problems in implementing desertec are the unsolved political questions and the nudefined military forces to protect the equipment eg. from terrorism. Additionally the form in running the project as an supranational organization or an private network is not defined until now. The key question will be the cultural aspekt. The Europeans have to to assure that Arabic Nations see desertec as an own cultural performance.

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